Rishi Sunak

Voters who backed the Tories in 2019 but have since said they will not be voting for them at the next general election are more likely to support democratic reform than the party’s current voter base, a new poll has found. The polling suggests that the Tories are losing voters who think Britain needs political reform.

The poll was commissioned by voting reform campaign group Make Votes Matter and conducted by Opinium.

According to the poll, just one in ten voters think parliament is currently in touch with ordinary people. Of those who don’t think it’s in touch, seven in ten think parliament would be more effective in dealing with big issues if votes cast at general elections were reflected in the number of seats each party had. This rises to nine in ten for 2019 Tory voters who have since said they won’t be voting Tory next time.

The survey also found that just 4 per cent of the public think the political system does not need reform at all. It also found that reforming the electoral system is a higher priority among voters than reforming the House of Lords.

According to Make Votes Matter, the survey suggests that among 2019 Tory switchers, a bold offer on political reform could be a vote winner.

Commenting on the survey, Klina Jordan, Chief Executive of Make Votes Matter, said: “The demand for change is deafening. Despite intense political polarisation, the country is united on the need for political reform – even the Prime Minister has admitted that Westminster is not working.2 Based on these results, the public clearly sees our electoral system as a big part of the problem.

“Keir Starmer is right that we need a new way of governing, but it’s not credible to acknowledge the consequences of our flawed electoral system – as party policy now does – without promising to do something about it. These results show clearly that if Labour wants to win over Tory switchers – as well as Lib Dem, Green and other voters – they need to take political reform seriously, especially PR.

“Far more than Lords reform, PR is seen by voters across the spectrum as most likely to tackle the complete loss of faith in a political system that is seen as out of touch with people’s needs and unable to manage the big issues.”

The poll also found that 37 per cent of voters would be more likely to back the Tories or Labour if they supported a move to proportional representation.

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Image credit: Number 10 – Creative Commons